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Court upholds bail for deputy director of Tretyakov gallery

November 02, 2011, 12:29 UTC+3

Belikov is accused of stealing 87 million roubles, allocated from the budget in 2008 for housing repairs in Moscow

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MOSCOW, November 2 (Itar-Tass) — The Moscow City Court on Wednesday upheld the release of deputy director general of the Tretyakov Art Gallery Oleg Belikov on a 55-million-rouble bail. The court thereby turned down the prosecutor's petition which insisted on overturning the district court's resolution and sending the case materials for a new probe.

The prosecutor's position has not changed. The suspect may escape from the investigator, obstruct the probe or try and destroy evidence. Also, Belikov is accused of the commission of crime together with unidentified accomplices in a group, he said.

Speaking about the sum of bail, the prosecutor said it was too high. Belikov's lawyers agreed with his opinion.

"We also ask to lower the sum of bail, as initially, it was set at 10 million roubles; 55 million roubles is too much,” lawyer Sergei Pankov stated at the court.

The lawyers said the sum had been paid by mother of the accused person, who had taken two loans under collateral of her house and now has to pay huge interest rates.

Belikov told the Moscow City Court he would not run away nor would he put any pressure on anybody.

"As for my health, I have a serious illness indeed, and they denied even a blood test to me in the infirmary of remand prison 77/1," he said.

The accused said he had last seen the investigator two months ago.

"After hearing the parties' arguments, a panel of judges for criminal cases under the Moscow City Court decided to leave the resolution on Belikov by the Ostankino court unchanged, and turn down the Prosecutor General's petition," the Moscow City Court said in its Wednesday ruling.

Belikov was detained and charged with fraud committed at the previous place of employment, the press service of the Interior Ministry's main department for the Central Federal District earlier told Itar-Tass.

The investigator said Belikov is accused of stealing 87 million roubles, allocated from the budget in 2008 for housing repairs in Moscow's western administrative district.

The official was arrested in August, 2011.

From January 15 through December 31, 2008, Belikov, together with deputy head of General Directorate of the Western Administrative District Ladygina and unidentified persons, committed a theft of budget money. Belikov obtained the right to selective repairs of high-rise apartment houses in the western district. The sum of the state contract totaled 117.190 million roubles. Just 30 million of the sum were spent on repairs. The remaining 86.736 million had been stolen by the defendant together with his accomplices

Belikov only recently landed a job at the Tretyakov Gallery.

The Interior Ministry's press service underlined that the fraud case against the deputy director of the Tretyakov Gallery was in no way connected to the operation of the Gallery.

Police searched Belikov's office at the Gallery within the framework of the criminal case. 

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